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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
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Leaving Jacksonville
2006-01-18 08:22
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Recalling what attracted me to Edwin Jackson in the first place, Bryan Smith of Baseball Analysts takes us through a detailed look at Jackson's Dodger career, which ended over the weekend with Jackson's trade to Tampa Bay.

... It seems now that what I saw in that August 27 start was not the same pitcher I had seen in the past. His fastball was really between 91 and 93, and Edwin could occassionally add a bit onto that. The control of the pitch seemed to vary, though I understand it's difficult given the good amount of movement it possesses. However, Jackson also has pretty noticeable mechanical problems, falling heavily to the first base side after pitching. His key pitch was his breaking ball that was quite successul. In fact, he didn't rely on this pitch enough, again showing an overdependency for the fastball. Jackson flashed a change up that wasn't very good, as each time the ball was left too high in the zone.

So what's next for Jackson? The change of scenery should be good, mostly because he can start the season in AAA, in a more neutral environment. The key for the Devil Rays will be to try and get Jackson to gain more confidence in his breaking ball, and also learn to control his fastball better. He can pitch from just 91-93, that's fine, but to do so there must be some semblance of control. And most of all, Jackson needs to regain the confidence of his youth, to again show the smile on the mound that Jon Weisman referenced.

We were wrong about Edwin Jackson, he wasn't a phenom. Let's just hope the Dodgers didn't prevent him from becoming anything at all.

Smith also has some notes on Jackson's trademate, Chuck Tiffany.

Comments
2006-01-18 08:48:28
1.   Bob Timmermann
So this was the much less successful sequel to the Nicolas Cage film?
2006-01-18 09:06:29
2.   Bob Timmermann
26 minutes and no complaints about Danys Baez?
2006-01-18 09:09:26
3.   Sam DC
Trying to stir up trouble are you? Next thing you know Bob'll be shouting "Hee Seop Choi" into a crowded weblog comment thread.
2006-01-18 09:11:00
4.   Jon Weisman
1 - I think it's the sequel to Leaving Normal.
2006-01-18 09:15:29
5.   DodgerJoe
(2) I can understand the complaints about Baez, but I guess I am in the minority. At the end of '06, why pay Gagne his $12M option when you can sign Baez for much less?

I'm sorry to see Edwin go, he was my new Adrian Beltre, the guy I wanted to succeed so bad and was willing to wait, but someday I felt it would happen.

2006-01-18 09:19:02
6.   regfairfield
5 Because Gagne is like a billion times better than Baez? Why sign Albert Pujols when you can sign John Mabry for much less? (Assuming this new infinite money trend holds, I'll gladly take Gagne.)
2006-01-18 09:21:32
7.   Bob Timmermann
My work here is done.
2006-01-18 09:24:55
8.   DodgerJoe
Gagne is better, and I'd take him in a heartbeat but how much faith do you have in him not getting hurt? Baez is an insurance policy.

And is McCourt willing to spend that kind of money? With Nomar, Kent and Lofton having a year left, it would free up some money, I guess.

2006-01-18 09:25:11
9.   regfairfield
7 That wasn't a complaint, that was merely comparing Gagne to Baez.
2006-01-18 09:26:35
10.   regfairfield
8 When you pose a question like "why take Gagne when you can have Baez for less" that suggests you think he's a valid replacement, not an insurance policy.
2006-01-18 09:30:28
11.   DodgerJoe
10 I see your point. I see it two ways, as as insurance policy and a replacement. I like Gagne as much as the next Dodger fan, but do you take Gagne or Baez plus another starter or position player for that money?
2006-01-18 09:32:06
12.   dagwich
This trade has been discussed to death, and my thoughts don't add anything. But, from a personal standpoint, I now have a real good reason for going to Durham Bulls' games more often when EJ is pitching. I imagine Tiffany will be up to AAA pretty quickly as well, and I have been looking forward to seeing him.

Is this the year Upton finally makes the bigs? I've been thinking of him as a permanent Durham Bull.

2006-01-18 09:59:21
13.   jystakes
For what it's worth, a good friend of mine's good friend, who I've had the pleasure of meeting, is the President of the Devil Rays, and the inside word is that they are quite happy with the trade.
2006-01-18 09:59:45
14.   jasonungar05
Braves getting a feeler on Gagne's availibility (1/17)

Quietly the Atlanta Braves could be ready to make another blockbuster move to help solidify the bullpen....

http://tinyurl.com/ae955

2006-01-18 10:20:29
15.   bigcpa
14 That site appears to be hogwash. They reported an Arroyo/Jeremy Reed trade would be announced Monday then revised that to Tuesday. Today's Globe says Arroyo is close to a 3-yr extension with Boston.
2006-01-18 10:20:45
16.   Curtis Lowe
14- Since there was no mention of a legit player in return for the Dodgers I take this thought is pure Phoooey.
2006-01-18 10:25:31
17.   Andrew Shimmin
16- I dunno; we could always use another catching prospect. We know how big Mr. Ned is on redundancy. Saltalmacchia is 24th on The Baseball Analysts prospect countdown. Davies isn't listed.

This doesn't absolve Mr. Ned of getting Baez. Even if he spins Gagne for thirteen golden geese, the Baez deal was independant of that, and bad.

2006-01-18 10:29:53
18.   molokai
Nice column by the Analysts. Hope they both succeed.

14
If the Dodgers do move Gagne and keep Baez then the Baez deal could still be a huge success depending on haul received in moving Gagne. While Baez is not comparable to Gagne as a pitcher the end result needed for a closer is only to get 3 outs. The old Gagne will get 3 outs in a row. Baez will struggle but will get the 3 outs. The end result will be a save. To expect Gagne to be what he was pre 2005 is unrealistic as those two years were AGAIG. I've always said they should trade Gagne and if the Braves think he is still at the top of his game and will give us excellent value then we should trade him with Baez/Yhancy/Broxton ready to handle the bullpen chores. The haul would have to be larger then Davies/Salty or a 3rd team would have to be involved for any deal with Atlanta to make sense.JMO

2006-01-18 10:41:26
19.   LAT
EJ's bio should be titled: "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas."

As for the Gagne rumor, if we get Jarrod Saltalamacchia we should continue to keep the names off the jerseys.

2006-01-18 10:42:27
20.   Curtis Lowe
18- I dont understand why thinking Gagne will return to or overpass his pre 2005 form is unrealistic. He's had major down time in the past and only got better.

Perhaps this down time has let him adjust his pitching philosophies and fine tune his overall mechanics. I could see Gagne turning into a dominant starter as an unrealistic expectation but seeing him return as his pre 2005 self should'nt be too suprising.

2006-01-18 10:43:09
21.   molokai
17
Davies pitched 73 innings last year and is no longer eligible for prospect lists which is the only reason he is not on the Analyst list. He was the top Brave pitching prospect headed into 05 and for a 21 year old held his own when pressed into the rotation. His first few starts were very good but then he had command issues. I would have no problem with getting Davies/Salty for Gagne as Salty is a powerfull catcher but I can't see Ned actually being interested in Salty. Switch hitting slugging catchers are a bit rare and he won't be ready to help for at least two years and Ned looks like he's very interested in winning this year.
2006-01-18 10:45:43
22.   bigcpa
Pat Gillick continues to beg and plead for pitching and has 4 starting OF's. It's time for Mr. Ned to make amends and bring us Abreu or Burrell.
2006-01-18 10:48:34
23.   Curtis Lowe
21- After hearing a few of the Gagne for Manny/Abreu/Arod/Tex/offensive force rumors the proposed deal seemed pretty weak, However that is probably due to the fact that I have no clue about Braves prospects.

How does Davies compare to what the pitching prospects the Dodgers are producing down in the farm? Also how does Davies compare to Hochever?

2006-01-18 10:50:16
24.   molokai
20
Because those two years were historic. Gagne will not continue to be historic but will still be an excellent closer. Do you want 15% of your budget spent on a pitcher who pitches 80 innings a season because after this season Mr. Gagne and Mr. Boras are going to want between 12-15 million a year for his services?
2006-01-18 10:51:56
25.   GoBears
I've been saying it for 3 months, friends: Gagne for Abreu, straight up.

I agree with Molokai's point. Gagne was (and maybe still is) the best closer in the game. But you don't need "the best" closer. A merely "good" closer will do just fine. If the net in swapping Gagne for Baez is a real hitter in the OF, that's a no-brainer.

The evidence that Gagne is more that any team "needs" at closer (and that he's horribly under-used as such) is not only that he blows a save only once every other All-Star Game, but that he had so many 1-2-3 9ths, on about 11 pitches. He dominated. You don't need to dominate - just to get the 3 outs.

I don't wish to return to the Todd Worrell / Jeff Shaw days of closers coming in with 3-run leads and leaving with 1-run saves. But that wouldn't the worst thing in the world if the tradeoff were a real starting OFer (i.e., not Kenny Lofton).

2006-01-18 10:54:47
26.   Curtis Lowe
24- If those 80 innings correlate into 80 saves and which is directly related to 80 wins then yes 15% of the budget spent on 80 wins is worth it.
2006-01-18 10:56:25
27.   Curtis Lowe
I really need to start previewing my posts. My grammar is hrorible.
2006-01-18 10:58:47
28.   molokai
25
Jon is going to hate the trend of this thread:)
I'd do the deal in a second but I imagine that Gordon would not be very happy since he signed with the Phil's so he could be their closer. They don't really need Gagne as much as they need someone in the rotation. The Braves really need a closer or even someone in the bullpen. They could use anyone of Gagne/Yhancy/Baez/Broxton because right now they have zilch which is the only reason I think they might have something going on. I know Steve feels bullpens can be made out of thin air but I guess he didn't watch the NL playoffs last year.
2006-01-18 10:59:23
29.   LAT
22. Big, after trading EJ and Tiff, do we have any surpluss arms anyone wants?

24. I completly agree with Molokai on this point. Trade Gagne. He may be good but he will not be what he was. In additon, some of his off season comments suggest he is not so enamoured with the Dodgers anymore and was highly critical of the JT firing. (That may have changed with Depo gone.)For me the only question is whether you trade him now even though his value may be diminished after 2005 or you keep him until the deadline and gamble his value goes up. In either event I would rather spend his money on starting pitching or a slugger.

2006-01-18 11:03:24
30.   LAT
BTW, an added benefit of trading Gagne is its likely to give Plaschke an aneurysm.
2006-01-18 11:03:59
31.   Steve
"If this is our ST roster, then I hate the trade, but if we trade Gagne for Jackson and Tiffany, then it might not be so bad"
2006-01-18 11:04:27
32.   Curtis Lowe
What do the Braves have that the Dodgers might want? And what were they offering TB for Baez?
2006-01-18 11:11:18
33.   dzzrtRatt
13 "...is the President of the Devil Rays, and the inside word is that they are quite happy with the trade."

I'm sure the D-Rays are happy with any trade that saves them money. You don't need a $4 million closer if you don't plan on winning more than about 70 games.

This trade was hard to take because of the sentimental attachment many have to Edwin J. and generically to any high-rated prospect. But taken to the cleaners Ned was not. He got value back.

Gagne is way better, yes. But Baez is no "middle reliever" replaceable nobody. Just because he won't be the closer doesn't automatically consign him to Steve's valueless hell. Baez is a good pitcher who succeeded in role of closer in the hardest-hitting division in baseball.

Come mid-season, Baez could be traded for a lot more than Edwin and Chuck. Or, he could stay and the Dodgers could use Gagne to secure a top-tier starting pitcher or high OPS hitter for the stretch. Isn't that the real way to measure this trade? Jackson and Tiffany weren't as valuable to the Dodgers are they would be to another team, because we've got other prospects who look even better. But to be able to dangle an elite reliever in a mid-season trade, without really hurting your bullpen? Worth a lot.

P.S. I'd love it if Tampa Bay could, for one year at least, make the Yankee, Red Sox and Orioles fans shut up. A rotation headed by Kazmir and a revived Edwin Jackson could do some damage one of these years. I will hope for the best for him and his new team.

2006-01-18 11:11:47
34.   Jon Weisman
You guys have inspired me to make a quickie post up top.
2006-01-18 11:50:13
35.   Daniel Zappala
To me, the big message of the Baseball Analysts article is that the Dodgers need to move their AAA park. So where are the likely places for them to move if they were to do so? And how likely is this to happen?
2006-01-18 12:08:57
36.   Midwest Blue
Just got here, but I need to comment on all this Gagne trade talk. On paper, you guys are right and the Dodgers could possibly get a lot for him (maybe an Abreu) IF people feel he is the same as before his injury. 1) I think that most GM's will not leap at that gamble ecause he could be appreciably worse; 2) You conveniently forget that Gagne represents more than just 3 dominating outs. He represents EXCITEMENT for the fans. Many of the casual Dodger fans live for that moment when Gagne comes into the game. It's one of the things that makes baseball magical. So you would not just be trading away an expensive dominant closer. You'ld also be trading away a great hook for the casual fan that is key for the McCourts who are looking at trying for 4 Million fans in 2006. That's why it makes no sense -- and it won't happen.

And 5
Do me a favor: With your track record, don't start rooting for Billingsly, Andy LaRoche or Joel Guzman.

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